Please remember!

The information presented on this blog represents "learning in progress" on my part, a horse owner, who was not satisfied with professional farriers and took matters in my own hands. As far as I am aware at the time of the post, the information presented is correct, but may change with me understanding more about hooves, in which case I will edit or remove the post. In order to follow my learning and understand everything about Molly's hoof, you need to start reading at the bottom.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

first day on pasture

This was an exciting day for me and my horses. My friend and neighbor made it possible: my horses could go on pasture!! On my sand dune, there is not much grass growing, plus the ground is so sandy and I wanted my horses to experience clay soil. So today was the first try. I was a bit nervous because it requires to walk the horses for about 5 minutes on the road, which is a very quiet road but still some car comes once in a while. It also requires them to pass lawn mowers, garbage cans,  mail boxes, windmills and my other neighbors 13 horses, etc. On the way there we did not encounter a car, Gus walked swiftly ahead and Molly followed a bit slower, but not less excited. When we reached, there was all this grass. Gus, being a Texan boy, has never seen so much grass in one spot. It reached to the horse's bellies. However, interestingly enough, the horses had not so much interest in the grass, but the neighbor's horses. They all came cantering lining up on their part of the fence and mine on our part of the fence. Next thing that happened Molly showed she was in heat and would have SO much liked to go over there and see if there is a nice little stallion for her. So for the next hour or so, she just stood right there at the fence ignoring the grass for the most part, and Gus could not go away, because he had to protect her. I don't think he quite understood why they had to stay so close to the fence, instead of eating all the nice grass!

Roughly 4 h later, it was time to go back. Horses had given up their position on the fence, though were still very close to he neighbors horses. We were worried about too much grass on the first day, though the grass was passed bloom and stemmy. Still my horses are not used to so much grass. It was easy to catch Molly but Gus did not want to be caught at first. Unfortunately for him, we had Molly so he could not go anywhere else. Then something interesting happened. I finally reached him grabbed his halter, which we had left on (wisely :-)!) and I wanted to attach my white rope. When Gus saw the rope, he jerked his head away and ran. This is exactly the reaction I had gotten 3 years ago when Gus came new to me, he was deeply scared of that white rope. I had spent about 6 months desensitizing him to that rope, and for the past 2 1/2 years he had never been afraid of it anymore, we use it every day. But today, he had a short blackout when he saw the rope. I also know why, at least I think so.

When he was in so called "training" (4 years ago, before he came to me), the trainer had tried to force Gus into submission by tying his legs (Gus was a difficult horse to train, because the trainer misunderstood him totally). I did not whitnessed it, nor did his previous owner, all I know is hat when his previous owner realized what happened during his "training", and took him out of there, he had rope burns on his legs. I think Gus, today in this short moment of being in a new unfamiliar place, with unfamilar sounds, he had this flashback of the rope incidence 4 years ago in Texas. There is just no other explanation why he behaved like this. Of course right after he ran away he realized his mistake and came straight back (to where Molly was) and let me put the rope on without any problem. But this shows just how long horses remember bad things happening to them.

But anyway, on the way home, we even encountered the UPS truck! We managed to get into a drive way and let it pass without any incidence, I distracted Gus with a carrot and had his head facing away from the truck. This way he hardly noticed. And Molly does not do anything anyway, as long as the other horse does not do anything.

Once reaching home, the horses were so tired within one minute they placed themselves in their sleeping corner and fell asleep. They did quite a bit of running on the pasture, with all the new sounds and the other horses in particular! Horses are just so highly social animals...

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